Saturday, 26 September 2015

Mushroom in Black Pepper Sauce

The main ingredient of this recipe is "Thai Black Pepper Sauce".  I recently discovered this sauce in super market shelves and could not be happier more. It tastes so great, you can cook anything with it.


  • Button Mushroom - 1 pack
  • Red and Yellow Bell pepper - 1/2 each
  • Garlic - 2 tsp, chopped
  • Whole dry red chilli - 1
  • Black Pepper Sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

Slice the button mushroom after washing it thoroughly. Chop the bell peppers. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.When it is hot, add chopped garlic and the red chilli and brown it nicely. 

Now add the sliced mushroom with a pinch of salt. Stir fry quickly over high heat. 

When mushrooms start turning brown, add chopped bell peppers and mix well. 

Reduce the heat. after a minute, add 2 tbsp of black pepper sauce with a splash of water. Mix well so that the vegetables are nicely coated with the sauce. Reduce the heat further and let it cook for 5 minutes. 

When the water is reduced completely and mushrooms are cooked, remove from heat. Adjust seasoning. 

Serve with noodles or fried rice or enjoy of its own.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Shutki Bata / Bharta

Shutki or Dry Fish has this typical smelly characteristics, a pungent smell that may evoke nausea in its uncooked form. Before marriage, I never had Shutki, it was never an item in my Mom's or even in my Grandmom's kitchen. After marriage, my Mother-in-law asked me affectionately whether I like to have it once and the adventurous foodie in me jumped out of excitement, why not. Yes, it smells terrible, you feel like, your kitchen exhaust is not working at all, whole house is filled with the pungent fishy odour, but once it is done, and once you have it with your plain rice, you will reach heaven. You need to cook it with lots of chilli and garlic, two must must ingredients to tame the smell and enhance the taste. Once I have started loving it, there is no looking back. I picked up the recipe from my Mother in law, she usually cooks it with Brinjal. Here is her signature recipe.
This time, I tried mashing it with masalas, and it tastes awesome. You can have it with rice, or use it as a chutney or side dish with your dal and rice.


  • Dried fish, Bombay Duck - 5-6 piece
  • Onion - 4, chopped
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
  • Tomato - 1, chopped
  • Green Chilli - as per taste
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander Powder
  • Mustard oil

To remove the smell, soak the dry fish in water after micro it for 3 minutes. Terrible smell, remember !! :-D

Discard the water, then fry the soaked dry fish in mustard oil till golden.

Remove from heat and keep aside.

Once it is cook, mash it in a grinder with lots of green chillies, and keep aside.

In the same pan, add some oil, then add a green chilli with kalonji seeds / kalojire. Once it splutters, add onions with a pinch of salt and fry till golden. Next goes the ginger garlic paste followed by chopped tomatoes.

When tomatoes are cooked, add salt, turmeric and coriander powder and fry well.

Next add the fish mash with sprinkle of water. Mix well with the spices and continue frying.

Fry till oil comes out of the mash. Adjust the seasoning. The dish should be Bharta type.

Serve with plain rice and some more green chilli.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Bhetki Fulcopy Ghonto

A 'Ghonto' is a typical Bengali dry vegetable dish where specific types of firm vegetables are cooked by contantly stirring them in the Wok with masalas. Though I am saying, it is a vegetable dish, that does not mean it is a vegetarian dish, we bengalis have invented the non-vegetarian way of enjoying our vegetable by mixing  fishes or prawns to the dish. Ghonto is an important weapon for leftover management too. When you donot have a particular raw material in plenty to make a full fledged dish out of it, ghonto is the option to help you clean vegetable drawer of your fridge. Just remember to use firm vegetables, softer ones like okra donot do justice to the dish.
I have some 4/5 bhetki fillets and a small fulcopi / cauliflower with fresh and soft stems. So I cleaned the stems with water first, then peel them and removed the hard part of it. Steamed the stems lightly before starting the preparation. Goes well with your rice and dal.


  • Fish fillet - 4-5
  • Cauliflower - cut into small florets
  • Cauliflower stem - 1 cup 
  • Corn kernels - a handful (Optional, I have some, so used it.)
  • Leafy vegetable - a handful ( again optional)
  • Onion -1, chopped
  • Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
  • Mustard paste - 1 tsp
  • Green chilli - as per taste
  • Salt, Turmeric, Red chilli powder, Sugar
  • Mustard Oil, Ghee

Fry the fish fillets with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Break into pieces and keep aside.

In a pan, add mustard oil. When it is hot, add cumin seeds and let it splutter.

Add chopped onion and slitted green chilli and fry till golden brown. Then add the ginger paste and fry well.

Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder and fry the masala mixture till oil comes out.

In the mean time, steam the stems and keep aside.

Add the stems with cauliflower florets and green leafs,if using. Mix well with the masalas. Add little water and cook covered. Add the fried fish pieces and cover it again after giving it a good stir.

When vegetables are almost done, add the corns, if using.

When vegetables are cooked and water is evaporated, add the mustard paste and give it a good stir.

Sprinkle some sugar. Remove from heat and add a spoonful of ghee. Give it a final stir and keep covered for 10 minutes.

Serve this wonderful dish with your loved ones and enjoy !!!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Stuffed Eggplant

I love eggplants in any form. During winter, we get the big variety which is ideal for a simple 'Begun Pora' or more elaborate 'Baigan ka Bharta'. However, these little cuties are best to cook whole in pure Indian style like this 'Andhra Style Brinjal Curry'. I just love to enjoy the soft mushy little eggplants coated with masalas with my roti or rice and whenever I found some, ( it is not a very regular in our local market, we usually get the bigger one) I just jump onto them. 
Now, I love 'stuffed veggies' too. So as an obvious choice, I made a delicious filling of peanuts, sesame seeds, garlic and coriander leaves, cut the eggplants to a deep cross, stuffed them and pan fried these purple beauties with a splash of water. Enjoyed the mouthwatering stuffed eggplants with my plain rice. 
I am putting this dish on 'Healthy' category, since very less oil is used, and it contains peanuts and sesame seeds.


  • Small Eggplants - 7-8
  • Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
  • Peanuts - 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Minced garlic - 1 heaped tbsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Black salt - as per taste
  • Olive oil - 2 tsp

Wash the eggplants and trim the stem if necessary. Make a deep cross incision in each incision but keep them intact at the base. Smear some salt and turmeric and keep aside for 15 minutes.
To make a filling, in a dry pan, toast the peanuts and sesame seeds till golden. Remove from heat and let it cool.

In the grinder, grind the peanuts and sesame seeds together. Mix it with minced garlic, chopped cilantro, black salt, turmeric, brown sugar and paprika. Add 1-2 tbsp of water to bind them together. This is your filling.

Use a spoon to stuff the filling into the cut portion of each eggplant. Make sure, the filling reaches through each cut. Squeeze the eggplant carefully to make the filling stick inside and reaches all corners.

In a flat non-stick pan, add 1-2 tsp of olive oil and swirl to make a thin coat on the pan. When the oil is hot, add a pinch of hing and let it sizzle.

Slide the stuffed eggplants carefully into the pan in a single layer. Fry them for 3 to 4 minutes turning frequently. . 

Add 1/4 cup of water and lower the heat. Cover the pan with a heavy lid. Don't panic, if the filling is oozing out.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, till the eggplants are cooked and water evaporated completely. There will be filling in the pan, crsip them and turn the eggplants carefully to make a coat of the residual filling.

Remove from heat and serve warm with some fresh cilantro on the top.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Herbed Chicken Sukha

This is monsoon in Bengal and the most annoying part of a good monsoon is the associated damp that you face everywhere, in your wardrobe, with your bed, and specially in your pantry. If you are a good stockist like me, I am sure monsoon is a nightmare for you to keep your food storage out of moisture. Even after taking enough precautions, they gets spoiled most of the times. If you can catch them just before spoiling and want to use them quickly, what do you do? I try to do some experiment and most of the time it gives amazing results. Like this checken dish, that I have cooked on a weekend for dinner, I just reach to my storage cupboard and sprinkle some herbs in the cooking pot. The result was finger licking good. 


  • Chicken Liver, Neck, breast pieces
  • Chopped Garlic, 1 tsp
  • Grated Ginger - 1 tsp
  • Onion - 1, chopped
  • Capsicum - 1, chopped
  • Tomato - 1, chopped
  • Mixed herbs - Rosemary, Parsley - 1 tsp each
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Paprika Powder - 1 tsp
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Green chilli - as per taste

Heat little oil in a flat pan and add garlic and grated ginger. Fry till brown.

Then add the chopped onion, saute over high heat, then add the chopped tomato and capsicum.

Next goes the chicken pieces, mix them well with the masalas. Add the salt.

Lower the heat and let the pink color of chicken disappears. Then add all the herbs and paprika. I have added some cumin powder too.

These are the herbs that I have used.

Mix everything together, chicken will release water.

Cook till the chicken is cooked through. You may add some water during the process if it seems very dry and masalas start sticking to the pan.

Cook till the gravy thickens. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately. A very quick recipe that tastes wonderful.

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